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City council approves all-hazards mitigation plan
City council approves all-hazards mitigation plan

The Richland Center City Council unanimously adopted the updated Richland County All-Hazards Mitigation Plan during its short meeting at the Municipal Building Monday night.

The plan was introduced at the council meeting in October and tabled since most alderpersons had not had an opportunity to read the plan.

Darin Gudgeon of the Richland County Emergency Government Department explained the thrust of the plan which was developed by the state has been developed to assist local municipalities become more resilient in the event of a natural disaster. 

He said this was not a response or recovery plan but a plan that undertakes hazard mitigation actions before disasters occur to reduce the potential for harm to people and property and save taxpayer money. 

Gudgeon noted that an All-Hazards Mitigation Plan is required by FEMA (Federam Emergency Management Agency) as a condition of future grant funding for mitigation projects. 

The Richland County Emergency Management Government Department will submit that plan to Wisconsin Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials for final review and approval.

The council’s short agenda also included two recommendations from the Personnel Committee that were also accepted unanimously.

The council approved an amendment to the employee benefit policies in the employee handbook.

City Administrator Ashley Oliphant said the adjustment to the fringe benefits was proposed because an 8.7 percent wage increase due to the cost of living wasn’t feasible. 

As a result, the city will eliminate the “floating holiday” for employees but add three holidays - New Year’s Eve, Veteran’s Day and Martin Luther King Day. It will allow the accrual of one day per month  in sick leave up to a maximum of 136 days. And the vacation policy was changed to provide three weeks of vacation after three years, four weeks after six years of service and five weeks after nine years of service. 

The city agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the Richland Center Professional Police Association so that the city will contribute toward union members’ health and dental insurance premiums at the same rate as non-union city employees.